Friday Offcuts – 17 December 2021

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With only a week or so to go before Christmas and an extended summer break (at least for a few of you who are not rostered onto fire duty or involved with plant maintenance), this will be the last issue of Friday Offcuts for 2021. So, this year along with last, will go down in the record books. It’s really been one out of the box – and probably for all of the wrong reasons. Like most of you we plan on taking a well-deserved week or two off.

Normal production is scheduled to resume on Friday 21 January. As we sign off today we thank all of you for your ongoing support, contributions and comments throughout the year. Your understanding and encouragement to us as we’ve gone into and out of lockdown has certainly been appreciated. The hope is, that we’ve pretty much come out the other side. We’re really looking forward to working with you again in 2022.

Already, a full programme of eagerly awaited 2022 technology events for local forestry and wood products companies has been planned with the industry for the first few months or 2022. Admit it, it’s been a while since we’ve all got together. Check out what’s on offer and mark the relevant dates into your 2022 diaries before heading off or a short break. We’ll provide further updates next year as the final pieces fall into place and as we move closer to the running of each event.

For this, our final issue of the year, we have a full smorgasbord drawn from across the sector including; new reports on transitioning exotic plantations to native forest, an apartment building that’s turning heads on the Gold Coast with a design inspired by the Norfolk Island pine, details of a new project underway to develop safe and efficient alternative load securing systems for NZ logging trucks and we’ve included a practical case study of a local company that’s designed some prototype bridges to carry logging traffic and minimise the environmental impact of stream or river crossings.

As we’ve covered in previous issues, forestry waste is being labelled the bright hope of biofuels. Moves were already underway with Air New Zealand signing a memorandum of understanding with New Zealand’s Ministry of Business and Innovation to seek an operator for a New Zealand biofuels plant. Companies like Z Energy and Refining NZ likewise have been making recent noises around the producing biofuels. To aid in the transition, the NZ Government has just announced that they’ll be introducing a Sustainable Biofuels Mandate. It will initially be applied to fuel wholesalers from 1 April 2023. Biofuels are going to be playing a major part in the transport sector's transition from fossil fuels and demand for more forestry and wood wastes is only going to continue. For local forest owners looking to explore future options, next year’s Residues to Revenues 2022 event couldn’t be better timed.

Finally, we’ve built in a short video clip of a very special present that could be bought for every forestry worker, you know, those who pretty much have all of their toys lined up already. Check out this unique gift in this week’s Christmas issue. And, that’s it for this year. See you all back again in 2022.

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An open letter to NZ Ministers

NZETS Barriers to Investment in Native Forest Carbon Projects

NB: An earlier version of this story as supplied to Scoop and published in this morning’s edition of Friday Offcuts contained a couple of inaccuracies that have since been corrected and included by the author in this updated version.

Date: 14 December 2021

Dear Ministers,


Ex-tropical cyclones smash our country and cause huge damage to our economy. Under a warming climate these cyclones will get stronger and do even more damage, harming our rural communities. We need to get ready for this by building climate-resilient and biodiverse landscapes on what is currently erosion-prone marginal farmland with willing farmers. In Hawkes Bay alone the Regional Council estimate that over 250,0000 ha of permanent reforestation is needed. This will require billions of dollars, and the ratepayer and taxpayer cannot afford the bill. But the private sector can afford it when the task is funded through carbon forestry and private investment. In theory.

But there is a problem

Native forests grow more slowly than exotic plantations and the economics of native carbon forestry are very challenging. This is why we do not currently have a native forest carbon industry fixing our landscapes at scale.

But wait, carbon prices are rising now to levels where the economics of native forest carbon are almost beginning to work. These projects need to pay back debt, so they need to be at least a little bit profitable to service this borrowing. Even though the profitability of these projects is still very lean, impact investors are starting to take an interest.

But there is a snag

The economic viability of a native forest carbon projects depends on the carbon returns paying back the debt to plant the forest. Imagine planting a 100ha native forest (200 rugby fields) that has tightened its belt and eliminated all inefficiencies to keep costs down to be profitable enough to attract an investor to fund the plantings.

The ability to repay this debt depends on the carbon returns from this 100ha area. But when the project applies to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to register in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS), MPI decides to rule that only 80% of the area is eligible to register. This is even after the project having done all its homework on demonstrating the eligibility of land planted using the best data available to the public. MPI say “don’t worry – we generally accept 80% of what’s applied for overall.”

But now your carbon project just got a 20% haircut on its returns after spending 100% of the investment. This means only 80 ha of your 100ha forest will deliver a return to that investor. In turn, this means that the originally lean return on investment is now below zero and the investment fails.

When investors understand this risk ahead of time they run for the hills or say: “plant me a pine forest instead”.

The project then asks MPI to explain its reason for it ruling on eligibility and it comes down to an interpretation of the legislation with MPI erring on the side of caution, having to be “satisfied” that land is eligible. So, native forest carbon projects are forced to fly blind into a commercial environment where a crash is far more likely than not. And surprise, surprise investors stay away, and privately funded climate resilience for our rural landscapes does not happen. And this is in a nation that has declared a climate emergency.

But then… The Climate Changes Response Act provides for an ‘emissions ruling’ where the project can apply to MPI to confirm the eligible area before it has been planted to eliminate this risk of a 20% loss to your carbon returns.


But no. An ‘emissions ruling’ currently takes up to a year to extract from MPI. When you add this year to the minimum of one year required between seedling order and planting (and typically longer for many nurseries supplying natives) then six months to a year of planning, and then after planting wait a year for your NZETS application to be processed, we have a 4-year process between starting a project and registering it in the NZETS. MPI have also just cancelled the ‘preliminary assessment’ facility that would give an early indication of project eligibility after trees have been planted.

The Solution

Please bring back the ‘preliminary assessment’ facility to provide an indication of land eligibility early in the process to better steer applicants.

Please speed up the emissions ruling processing time to take no more than 3 months instead of the 12 months it currently takes.

Please charge a realistic fee for these services so that you can recover the costs of a rapid processing time.

Private investors want to invest in climate resilience, and we are almost there with the native forest carbon sector. This is just about fine tuning an economic instrument so that it can attract billions of dollars of private investment to build climate resilient, biodiverse landscapes where we need it most.

Yours sincerely

Dr Sean Weaver, CEO Ekos

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OneFortyOne to invest AU$11m in Jubilee Sawmill

OneFortyOne, Mount Gambier’s largest private employer, has committed to investing over AU$11 million in its Jubilee Sawmill over the next two years. Jubilee Sawmill General Manager Paul Hartung said the modern manufacturing investment was a continuation of the re-investment program that started in 2016.

“OneFortyOne has invested close to AU$40 million since purchasing the mill in 2018, on state-of-the-art technology projects such as Sorter Bins, a Lucidyne Scanning System, reducing boiler emissions and upgrading to Continuous Drying Kilns,” Paul said.

“This most recent commitment will extend to an equipment and technology upgrade for Drymill A, replacing and modernising equipment as it reaches end of life.” Paul said the new equipment will be manufactured in New South Wales under a licensing agreement, a first for Australia.

“We are really pleased we can be part of this initiative. OneFortyOne is committed to ensuring we remain one of the most progressive and efficient mills in Australasia. By investing in new technology, we are continuing towards our objective of valuing every strand of wood fibre that we process.”

OneFortyOne estimates that through this upgrade Jubilee Sawmill will reduce its emissions by approximately 268 tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually. These savings will be generated by reduced electricity consumption.

“It’s an exciting project for our team here at Jubilee,” Paul said, adding “The innovative technology that will be installed at the mill presents an amazing opportunity to train and upskill our people in robotics and automation.”

“One of the motivating factors for this project was the chance it provided to shift the Drymill team to a 4-day week. This development means that both Drymill A and the Greenmill will operate on 4-day weeks. We know this has been an important issue for our Drymill team and we are really pleased to support their wellbeing in this way.”

The project is scheduled to begin in 2022 and will take 2 years to complete.

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Powering NZ’s future with biofuels

The NZ Government will introduce a Sustainable Biofuels Mandate to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector, Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods announced on Wednesday.

“Biofuels offer a practical, low-emissions solution to reduce New Zealand’s transport sector emissions and will be scaled up over time resulting in greater emissions reductions from transport fuels,” Megan Woods said.

From 1 April 2023, fuel wholesalers will be required to cut the total greenhouse gas emissions for transport fuels they sell by a set percentage each year, by deploying biofuels as a part of their fuel supply.

“Land transport accounts for almost half of all of our national carbon dioxide emissions and we need to take action to start to mitigate transport’s impact on climate change,” Megan Woods said.

“The Sustainable Biofuels Mandate will prevent around one million tonnes of emissions from cars, trucks, trains and ships over the next three years and up to 10 million tonnes by 2035 to help us meet our climate commitments.

“Biofuels mandates are common overseas with more than 60 jurisdictions having them; we had one on the cards more than a decade ago but it was repealed before it came into effect,” Megan Woods said.

“We’re committing to develop a separate mandate for aviation fuel during 2022 given the unique challenges the sector faces. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is working with Air New Zealand on a feasibility study on the potential for domestic production of sustainable aviation fuel and this will feed into that work,” Michael Wood said.

More information can be found on the MBIE website.


• The Sustainable Biofuels Mandate apples to fuel wholesalers - those who first import or refine fuels.
• From 1 April 2023, fuel wholesalers are expected to reach a starting emissions reduction target of 1.2 per cent, which will increase to 2.4 per cent in 2024 and to 3.5 per cent in 2025.
• The mandate will be reviewed after two years.
• A separate mandate for aviation fuel will be developed over 2022, following consultation feedback from key stakeholders.
• There will be strict sustainability and emissions reporting requirements in place to prevent any adverse environmental outcomes and ensure emissions reductions are genuine.
• Provisional targets for 2026-2030 will be confirmed by Cabinet in 2024 and the provisional targets for 2031-2035 in 2029.

Discussion earlier in the week on the country’s move switching to biofuels can be read here.

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A Christmas present for every forest worker?

You can only ask your manager or boss – right? After all, you really deserve it after the year you've just been through. They say the feeling you experience when flying the Jetson ONE through the forest is unreal. The excitement and thrills are phenomenal, far more incredible than what you’ve seen in sci-fi Hollywood blockbusters. Can you think of any manned aircraft capable of speeding through the forest like this?

Jetson, a Swedish company’s mission is to make the skies available for everyone with their safe personal electric aerial vehicles. Are you ready to experience a completely new and exciting way of travel? We’re not sure about shipping nor the cost, but you can check out their website if you're interested.

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Bridge over undisturbed waters

A Wairarapa-based forestry company are paving the way with stream crossing bridges that don’t disturb the waterway. Josh Blazek and Guy Farman of Farman Turkington Forestry came up with the design over a series of prototypes.

Farman said forestry had always had issues with trucks crossing water and keeping the water clean, and they set out to find a solution to the problem. He said the 3.5-tonne“blaze-it bridge”, named after Blazek, massively reduced environmental impacts compared to other options.

“In most cases, you’d build a bridge, a ford, or you’d install a culvert.” Farman said a great thing about the bridges was that they didn’t disturb the stream bed upon installation nor from trucks driving over it. The effects on the stream environment when installed are very minor. “When a vehicle drives through a ford, it is going to create some stream disturbance.” Blazek said the bridges also reduced flooding risk at the crossing.

“Flood engineers were worried we’d catch debris that would build a dam and then fail, which is a common issue with bridges, especially culverts. If you catch heaps of slash or anything that may come down as sticks from the headwaters, they can easily move over the top of it.” Blazek said because of this, high river flows weren’t nearly as much of a problem anymore.

“The bridge is one of the rare things that’s environmentally advantageous, helps loggers and truck drivers, and is cheaper.” He said it was also possible to put two bridges side-by-side to extend the distance it covered. Farman said Blazek had been inspired by the Ernslaw One bridge that had won multiple prizes.

He said the design had been similar, but theirs was made of wood, and he was worried about it breaking under the weight of a logging truck. “If you cracked any of the timber, it’ll just start falling apart.” Blazek said they had come up with their own, very modified design to fit their own needs. “We need to be able to put in in and take it out again for the next job.”

He said their bridge could be moved in a transporter without any pilot vehicles and could be installed by a standard digger in about an hour. Farman said an idea had sprung when had done a logging job where they had damaged a cattle stop and had to replace it, “the damaged cattle stop was dropped off here, we looked at it and came to the conclusion that it could be a good base for our design”.

Blazek and Farman then decided to build their bridge from steel; most of it now comes from the likes of recycled railway irons. Blazek said there was a need for it, especially during fish spawning when rules prevented vehicles from crossing waterways for up to three months at a time. “At spawning, you can only have up to 20 axel movements, which is one truck and one ute a day. We can see ten trucks in and out of a site per day at times.”

Dalefield Transport owner Clinton Buller said the bridge had made a huge difference to his work. “There’s no stone damage to the wheels of our trucks and no water on our brakes anymore.” He said the bridge had lowered truck maintenance costs. Buller said they could now enter sites even when rivers were at a higher flow.

He said a previous logging job years ago up the valley had seen far more sediment discharge down the stream, and neighbours were surprised that work had started without any discharge noticed in the stream. Farman said the bridge was now consented by Greater Wellington Regional Council.

“Under the environmental rules, it’s quite hard to define if it’s a ford or a drift deck.” Farman Turkington Forestry currently has six blaze-it bridges, with a couple more on the way. Blazek and Farman said the bridges were manufactured locally at their Carterton base. They said they were considering eventually leasing the bridges to others that would have an interest in using them.

Note: In line with this initiative, details are out now on New Zealand’s first Environmental Forestry event planned for forest managers and environmental forester’s on 10-11 May 2022. Details on next year’s event can be found on the event website

Source: Grace Prior, Wairarapa Times Age, Farman Turkington Forestry

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Improved log load securing project underway

As part of the FGR programme in Automation and Robotics, a project has commenced to develop a safe and efficient alternative load securing system in New Zealand for logging trucks.

Many logging truck drivers suffer musculo-skeletal injuries that are caused by throwing chains over the load and then manually tensioning the load restraints. An improved method of load restraint is required so this project is aimed at developing ways to automate chain throwing and tensioning.

In addition, as debarking in the forest becomes more common, there will be changes to the loads the trucks will be carrying with more debarked logs could be carted from the forest to the port. So, the industry must also consider any changes that may be required to current methods of load restraint to adequately restrain these more slippery debarked logs on logging trucks.

To date, the automatic chain thrower is well advanced with two trucking companies having developed working prototypes for field testing. In addition, two forestry companies have also built machines that lift all the chains over the load simultaneously. These machines are proving effective for use in log yards. The project will develop a system whereby:
- the chains are automatically thrown over the load.
- the chain tensioning is automatically done by winches that are driven off the truck’s auxiliary power system.
- chain tension will be monitored automatically and if any load settling during the journey is detected the winches will automatically retention the chains without any intervention by the driver.
- the status of the chain tension will be displayed on an in-cab system that will notify the driver if any corrective action is required.

This project is being undertaken with support of the Log Transport Safety Council, in conjunction with Trinder Engineers Ltd of Nelson.

These developments implemented across the NZ logging truck fleet should reduce driver injuries due to chain throwing and tensioning and result in longer driver retention in the industry, and safer log transport, a win for the whole industry.

Source: Forest Growers Research

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Latest Australian Timber Market Survey report

The latest edition of the quarterly Timber Market Survey (TMS) report has been released for the September quarter 2021.

The latest TMS results show another quarter of remarkably strong price increases for untreated structural MGP products. Price movements for MGP10 products ranged between 15.1% and 16.0% higher, while price movements for MGP12 products ranged between 11.3% and 14.2% higher.

Price movements for treated F7 products were higher again and ranged between 17.8% and 19.7%. Prices for treated decking and sleeper products increased by 8.9% and 11.5%, respectively. Price increases were also seen across the plywood and panel products range. Plywood (C/D grade) prices increased by up to 9.5%, while most other panel product prices increased between 3.0% and 5.8%.

The extraordinarily large price increases seen in engineered wood products in the previous (June) quarter continued in the September quarter; price movements for LVL and I-joist/I-beam products ranged between 20.6% and 25.2% higher.

The TMS collects price data through quarterly surveys of a representative sample of timber market participants in eastern Australia. All quarterly TMS reports contain price movement information for softwood timber, panels and engineered wood products. The June and December quarter editions also include price movement information for hardwood timber products surveyed over a six-month period.

The TMS is prepared by Indufor and funded by nine major Australian forestry organisations: Forestry Corporation of NSW; VicForests; Hancock Victorian Plantations; HQPlantations; OneFortyOne Plantations; Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries; Green Triangle Forest Products; AKD Softwoods; and Sustainable Timber Tasmania.

Further information and the latest Timber Market Survey report is available here.

Source: Indufor

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SA Firefighters awarded National Emergency Medals

Seventeen ForestrySA firefighters were recognised for their significant contribution during the Cudlee Creek Bushfire. National Emergency Medals have been approved by the Governor-General, in recognition of sustained service during the nationally significant fire which devasted the Adelaide Hills in December 2019.

ForestrySA fire crews spent 12 consecutive days on the fireground battling blazes on both private and public land. They also maintained fire response coverage across ForestrySA’s 20,000ha Kuitpo, Mount Crawford and Second Valley forest estate during this time. More than 450ha of ForestrySA plantation and native bushland were lost in the fire, leading to the immediate closure of the Cudlee Creek Forest Reserve and popular visitor site Fox Creek Bike Park, and a AU$1m damage bill.

ForestrySA Chief Executive Julian Speed said the service medals were recognition of a long and arduous job well done. “As a registered CFS fire brigade in our own right, ForestrySA firefighters are highly trained, backed by a fleet of specialised fire appliances and dedicated members of the Adelaide Hills firefighting community,” he said.

“As part of our commitment to community fire protection, we respond to fires both on our own land and to assist our neighbours in surrounding areas”. “Notably, on the first day of the fire, our crews were able to save the home and property of a well-known Lenswood vigneron and winemaking family. It’s positive outcomes like these that make what we do so worthwhile.”

The National Emergency Medals were formally presented on the second anniversary of the fire, by Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham. The presentation was held at the ForestrySA Kuitpo Head Office, on Wednesday 15 December.

Source: ForestrySA

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Scion talent recognised at Science NZ Awards

Wood nanotechnology, seaweed nanocellulose products and an internationally recognised microscopist are among top successes celebrated by Scion at the Science New Zealand Awards.

All seven NZ Crown Research Institutes and Callaghan Innovation have awardees in three categories. Scion’s awardee for Lifetime Achievement is Doctor of Science, Lloyd Donaldson (photo) for his microscopist work, Scion’s awardee for Early Career Researcher is Dr Qiliang Fu - leading scientist in wood nanotechnology and functionalisation, and our awardee for the Team Award is the Agrisea NZ and Scion collaboration.

Scion chief executive Dr Julian Elder said the awards showed the depth of talent across Crown scientists including Scion, which is recognised nation-wide and internationally. “It’s wonderful to see a lifetime of significant work such as Lloyd’s being recognised, and the innovation behind the wood nanotechnology and the Agrisea partnership are examples of how cutting-edge the science here at Scion is.”

Scion Forests and Biotechnology scientist Dr Lloyd Donaldson received one of eight Lifetime Achievement Awards for his influence as an internationally recognised microscopist specialising in plant anatomy and ultrastructure for the last 40 years at Scion. He has pioneered techniques in confocal fluorescence imaging of wood and biomaterials, with his methods forming a part of researcher toolboxes globally.

An Early Career Researcher Award was made to scientist Dr Qiliang Fu who specialises in wood nanotechnologies, including various chemical treatment and functional approaches, applied to tailor and modify the nanostructure of bulk wood. Dr Fu has contributed strongly to developing this field globally.

Dr Fu did the original research on transparent wood and transparent wood film, novel designs and multifunctionalities of sustainable materials. This work has led to breakthroughs in transparent, fire-retardant, hydrophobic/lipophilic and opto-electronic applications.

The Team Award was the third category and Scion’s awardee was the Scion and Agrisea NZ collaboration team which together are accelerating new nanocellulose-based business opportunities. Scion’s wood pulping expertise and AgriSea’s 25 years in seaweed processing has resulted in a novel seaweed gel product.

The team developed a method to produce nanocellulose from AgriSea’s seaweed waste stream without disrupting current products and processing. Their innovative approach enables the extraction, isolation and manufacture of high-value nanocellulose hydrogel and nanocellulose. Applications for these materials include performance biocomposites, biomedical engineering applications, wound care, cosmetics and drug delivery.

The Scion technology to produce seaweed nanocellulose was licensed and transferred to AgriSea at the start of 2021. Manufacture of nanocellulose was successfully trialled at pilot scale (funded through the Bioresource Processing Alliance).

An intergenerational whānau business, AgriSea is now upgrading its factory to include an industrial nanocellulose production plant in its hometown of Paeroa and employs local people in coastal regions to collect beach cast seaweed.

Source: Scion

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Australia’s largest drone show for New Year’s Eve

Docklands, Melbourne is set ring in the New Year in style with Australia’s “largest ever” drone show to light up the night sky over Victoria Harbour.

The seven-minute show will see audiences wowed by 350 drones illuminating the sky – the first of its scale to ever take place in the Southern Hemisphere. The unique aerial display is developed by drone art company Celestial, which delivered Edinburgh’s 2020 New Year drone display (see Youtube clip below - using 150 drones), as well as a drone art creation for Amnesty International’s 60th anniversary.

The drone swarm will take place across Victoria Harbour on New Year’s Eve, before the 9.30pm fireworks and again at midnight. It will also run twice a night from January 3 to January 30.

Celestial co-founder and CEO Tony Martin said his team was thrilled to be designing a “show-stopping” event for the Melbourne New Year. “Working with celebrated local talent, our aim is to tell a story that takes the audience on a journey from the troubles of a difficult year and into a greener, healthier, happier future,” he said.

Docklands Chamber of Commerce executive officer Shane Wylie said, “we can’t be any more excited about the Celestial drone show coming to Docklands twice nightly for all of January”. Mr Wylie said stakeholders and the public would see the event as a way of “moving forward” after the Docklands precinct was one of the hardest hit areas in Australia by the pandemic.

More >>

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Future-proofing against the impact of bushfires

The latest episode of FWPA’s WoodChat podcast series places a focus on research efforts to increase the Australian timber industry’s bushfire preparedness, and capacity to minimise the adverse impacts of future fire events on forestry plantations.

The unprecedented bushfires of 2019/20 resulted in the destruction of many properties, a devastating impact on our wildlife, and the tragic loss of human life. Sadly, climate modelling predicts the extent of wildfires will continue to increase in Australia, and as a result the economic impacts of wildfires are also likely to rise.

In the forestry sector, fire poses a significant business risk for plantation companies, wood processors and manufacturers. This edition of WoodChat showcases a number of interesting and important forestry-related projects being conducted in response to the recent catastrophic fires.

Amongst the interviewees is Dr Tim Smith of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, who discusses proposed efforts to create a national network of research fire expertise, and generate salvage management options for harvest and storage operations following a fire event.

“We as an industry needed to have a better handle on how we dealt with post-wildfire events. Consequently, FWPA was looking for a program that would step through all the processes and impacts from a fire, and how the industry might respond to minimise fire impact and resource losses,” said Smith.

“The program would look to incorporate the findings of studies conducted previously and build on those to help develop clear guidelines for the industry to manage trees in salvage operations. “It’s about providing a decision support tree that can be used for optimised post-fire salvage response, customised to different regions and conditions.”

During the episode, the presenters also speak to Braden Jenkin, Lead Author of recently developed guidelines offering a summary of the collective knowledge of the Australian forestry industry around previous experiences in the salvage, storage and processing of fire damaged timber.

Listeners will also hear from Dr Dean Williams of Sustainable Timber Tasmania about the potential for fire detection and prediction technologies to be installed permanently within forest environments to inform better decision making around fire management.

You can listen to WoodChat on Soundcloud, iTunes and Spotify.

Source: FWPA

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Transitioning exotic plantations to native forest

The second of two reports on transitioning exotic plantations to native forest is now available online at the MPI Canopy website. This second report provides practical guidance for New Zealand landowners. It should be read in conjunction with the first report, which outlined the state of knowledge on transitional forestry in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The practical guidance report describes the main practical considerations required to achieve a successful transition from exotic to native vegetation and then applies those considerations to three case studies of forest transitions in three different forest types and contexts.

It is recommended that the practical guidance be read in conjunction with the state of knowledge report and both reports are available on MPI’s Canopy website at the following locations:

Report 1: State of knowledge

Report 2: Practical guidance for landowners

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New Trans-Tasman standard: Sustainable Forest Management

In December 2021 Responsible Wood published the latest version of the AS / NZS 4708 Standard for Sustainable Forest Management - requirements. Click here to download the standard.

Updated and reviewed by Responsible Wood every five years, the Standard has been approved for publication following revision by the AS / NZS 4708 Standards Reference Committee and Working Group chaired by Dr Gordon Duff. Published for the first time as a Trans-Tasman Standard, the new Standard provides common benchmarks for sustainably managed Australian and New Zealand forests.

The Australia-New Zealand Standard (AS / NZS 4708), along with the Australian Standard for Chain of Custody for Forest Products (AS / NZS 4707) are key components of the Responsible Wood Certification Scheme. “The Responsible Wood Certification Scheme is recognised as a world leading certification scheme for native and plantation forests,” said the Chairman of the Standard Reference Committee, Dr Gordon Duff.

“The Committee included a broad range of organisations in Australia and New Zealand involved in forest management, forest research, auditing, government, community, and environment, as well as Indigenous organisations and labour unions.” The new standard has been designed to meet all requirements of the PEFC International Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (PEFC ST 1003), the benchmark for PEFC endorsement and recognition.

The Standard Reference Committee and Working Group includes a balance of representatives in Australia and New Zealand.

In Australia: Association of Accredited Certification Bodies. Australian Forest Growers, Australian Forest Products Association, Construction, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union, CSIRO, Environmental Farmers Network Association, Institute of Foresters of Australia (Forestry Australia), Independent biodiversity/conservation expert, National Retailers Association, National Timber Council Association, South East Timber Association (community group), Southcoast Natural Resource Management, University of Melbourne, University of Sunshine Coast.

In New Zealand: Federation of Māori Authorities First Union, New Zealand Farm Forest Association, New Zealand Forest Certification Association, New Zealand Forest Owners Association, New Zealand Institute of Forestry New Zealand, Ministry of Primary Industries, New Zealand Timber Industry Federation, Scion (New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited), Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association of New Zealand.

For more information about the Australian and New Zealand Standard for Sustainable Forest Management please contact: Simon Dorries (CEO – Responsible Wood) on +61 7 3359 1758 or email Responsible Wood

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Norfolk pine-inspired building turns heads

When the scaffolding finally came down from a new apartment building on the Gold Coast, social media was flooded with photos taken by awestruck locals. No one had ever seen anything like it; a building inspired by, and a celebration of, a nearby group of heritage-listed Norfolk pine trees, with a series of architectural curves mimicking their cone-like seed pods.

“We’ve been taken aback by people’s reaction to it, to be honest,” says Koichi Takada, architect of Norfolk, the 10-storey apartment block at Burleigh Heads. “It was very much designed for its particular location: a corner site facing the park, by the beach.

“We knew it looked different from most other buildings, and it does stand out, but we’ve been really pleased to hear how much people are liking it.” The 31.45-metre-high building, on a 1012-square-metre site, ended up faithfully replicating the original design scheme, with the overlapping curves and linear screening making it a standout structure at the southern end of Burleigh Heads Beach.

It’s not just for the look either. The curves are calculated to protect the residents inside from the elements, with slatted screens that can be opened to bring in the sunshine, light and air.

“The sculptural facade references the inner workings of the Norfolk pine, which is a natural icon in the Gold Coast region,” says Takada, an award-winning Japanese-born architect who lives in Sydney but works on projects around the world.

“Just like their pine cones protect its seeds from bad weather and open when in ideal natural settings, Norfolk’s architecture reacts to conditions for the people living there.”

More >>

Source: SMH, Koichi Takada Architects

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Scion signs with Māori Carbon Collective

Māori whenua (land) opportunities will engage with science to welcome an innovative future with the signing of a Collaboration Agreement between Scion and the Māori Carbon Collective. Scion Crown Research Institute chief executive Julian Elder and Māori Carbon Collective (MCC) founding chairman Tā (Sir) Mark Solomon put pen to paper this month at Te Whare Nui o Tuteata in Rotorua.

Tā Mark believes a lot can be done for Māoridom using collaborative research to understand the current and future Māori position relating to carbon sequestration activities on whenua. “This agreement being signed is the highlight of our year. We’ve been dreaming of this relationship for a long time,” he says.

“One of the projects I’m most excited to work on with Scion is trialing the planting of a mix of Pinus Radiata and native trees on whenua for carbon farming where eventually the native forest takes over to become fully native again,” says Tā Mark. “My heart always tells me that the best way to move forward with our whenua is using native trees, but if you are doing it as an economic return at this stage, the best process is using exotics. “I would like business collaboration with Scion to prove we can do it with the native trees - this is our country and we should be planting with our trees.”

Dr Elder says the agreement will make innovation accessible for Māori landowners. “As a research organisation, our purpose is to make economic, environmental and social impacts for Aotearoa, New Zealand - we can't do this on our own and we need to help enable others. Entering a partnership with the Māori Carbon Collective is a real opportunity to help the Collective do the things we think are possible to benefit their whenua,” he says.

Scion will work with the Māori Carbon Collective to enable pathways that lead to outcomes in indigenous forestry; forest-to-cultural-aspiration products; forestry value chain development; indigenous tree breeding and planting; production forestry; climate change mitigation planning; and sustainable community infrastructure.

The Māori Carbon Collective was formed to ensure land trusts are provided with guidance to participate in the carbon trading market, while acknowledging the whenua as kaitiaki. All benefits that can be retained when registering with the Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) are returned to the mana whenua. Protection is also extended to eliminate any risk or threat of the loss of land.

Source: Scion

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... and a couple to finish 2021 on ...

And several to end the year on….

A Great Aussie WorkSafe Poem (sent in by one of our regular Aussie readers)

The sun was hot already - it was only 8 o'clock
The cocky took off in his Ute, to go and check his stock
He drove around the paddocks checking wethers, ewes and lambs,
The float valves in the water troughs, the windmills on the dams

He stopped and turned a windmill on to fill a water tank
And saw a ewe down in the dam, a few yards from the bank.
"Typical bloody sheep," he thought, "they've got no common sense,
"They won't go through a gateway but they'll jump a bloody fence."

The ewe was stuck down in the mud, he knew without a doubt
She'd stay there 'til she carked it if he didn't get her out.
But when he reached the water's edge, the startled ewe broke free
And in her haste to get away, began a swimming spree.

He reckoned once her fleece was wet, the weight would drag her down
If he didn't rescue her, the stupid sod would drown.
Her style was unimpressive, her survival chances slim
He saw no other option, he would have to take a swim.

He peeled his shirt and singlet off, his trousers, boots and socks
And as he couldn't stand wet clothes, he also shed his jocks.
He jumped into the water and away that cocky swam
He caught up with her, somewhere near the middle of the dam

The ewe was quite evasive, she kept giving him the slip
He tried to grab her sodden fleece but couldn't get a grip.
At last he got her to the bank and stopped to catch his breath
She showed him little gratitude for saving her from death.

She took off like a Bondi tram around the other side
He swore next time he caught that ewe he'd hang her bloody hide.
Then round and round the dam they ran, although he felt quite puffed
He still thought he could run her down, she must be nearly stuffed.

The local stock rep came along, to pay a call that day.
He knew this bloke was on his own, his wife had gone away,
He didn't really think he'd get fresh scones for morning tea
But neither was he ready for what he was soon to see.

He rubbed his eyes in disbelief at what came into view
For running down the catchment came this frantic-looking ewe.
And on her heels in hot pursuit and wearing not a stitch
The farmer yelling wildly "Come back here, you lousy b****!"

The stock rep didn't hang around, he took off in his car
The cocky's reputation has been damaged near and far
So, bear in mind the Work Safe rule when next you check your flocks
Spot the hazard, assess the risk, and always wear your jocks!

And finally, what to say about the "Special" Christmas gift this year

10. Hey! There's a gift!

9. Well, well, well...

8. Boy, if I had not recently shot up 4 sizes that would've fit.

7. This is perfect for wearing around the basement.

6. Gosh. I hope this never catches fire! It is fire season though. There are lots of unexplained fires.

5. If the dog buries it, I'll be furious!

4. I love it -- but I fear the jealousy it will inspire.

3. Sadly, tomorrow I enter the Federal Witness Protection Program.

2. To think -- I got this the year I vowed to give all my gifts to charity.

1. And finally, "I really don't deserve this."

And that's it for this year. For many of you next week it will be time to clean up the office, pack up for your summer holidays and plan to move on out. From all of us, it's been a pleasure bringing you Friday Offcuts every week. We look forward to working with you again in what we hope is a more settled year in 2022. Our first issue for the New Year will be 21 January. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
6 Liverpool Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
PO Box 904, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (03) 470 1902, Mob: +64 21 227 5177, Fax: +64 (03) 470 1906
Web page:

This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at

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